Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenge Inspiration Illumination

This month the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artist's Guild of Etsy) challenge theme is Artist Inspired.  Members were asked to choose an artist who inspires them, and create a piece of art reflecting that source. 

We are all inspired and influenced by countless sources.  This was at first a difficult task for me to choose one artist who would inspire my piece.  As the dead line approached, I had little time and little inspiration to choose one artist, as the artists who inspire me could fill volumes of books.  Then 2 days before the deadline, I had one of those "Ah Ha!" moments that determined who my artist would be…. a glance at a print that hangs in my home, coupled with the remembrance of a couple of bronze lamp bases that have been stored in my attic space… led to this:

Louis Comfort Tiffany is best known for his gorgeous stained glass works, including many cast bronze lamps with stained glass lampshades. Most people are familiar with Tiffany lampshades, to see a few of his original lampshades, google Louis Comfort Tiffany.  I have been a fan of Tiffany's work for many years, a print of his magnolia and irises hangs in my living room. A few years ago, my mother-in-law, who owns a gift shop, gave me a bunch of metal lamp bases reminiscent of the bronze lamps done by tiffany, which she didn't want to sell because they had no shades. I had always intended to try making a shade with polymer clay for these lamps, but never got around to it. This challenge gave me the push to accomplish a shade for one of the smaller lamp bases. This lamp base features the design of lily pads, so I decided to decorate the shade with lotus flowers and lily pads with a watery background.

I have received numerous questions from the polymer clay community about my process to create this lampshade.  Because there has been so much interest, I do plan to make another lampshade and document each step with photos and text, to offer a free tutorial here on my blog.  If you are interested in learning this faux stained glass polymer clay process, either sign up for my blog post notification via email or like Create My World Designs on facebook - both can be found on the right hand side of this page.  It's garden season so my hands are more in the dirt than they are in my clay (my husband and I maintain a very large organic heirloom vegetable garden plus various fruit trees, bushes and berry patches).  So, the tutorial may not appear here until next month, or even the next, but I assure you, I will do it and post it here for free, so be sure to check back!

And finally.... Here are all of the wonderful participating guild members' entries, which are inspirations themselves! 

Please go vote for your favorite 3 pieces at:
Voting closes on May 7, 2012 at 12:00 midnight EST  (so you now have 2 days from the time I post this!)  And remember, if you vote, you will automatically be entered to win a free prize!  3 random winners are chosen each month!

Please leave me a comment or questions about my lampshade.  And be sure to tell me who or what inspires you!